Griffiths Valuation

Griffith’s Valuation was a boundary and land valuation survey of Ireland completed in 1868.

Richard John Griffith started to value land in Scotland, where he spent two years in 1806-1807 valuing terrain through the examination of its soils. He used ‘the Scotch system of valuation’ and it was a modified version of this that he introduced into Ireland when he assumed the position of Commissioner of Valuation.

In 1825 Griffith was appointed by the British Government to carry out a boundary survey of Ireland. He was to mark the boundaries of every county, barony, civil parish and townland in preparation for the first Ordnance Survey. He completed the boundary work in 1844.

He was also called upon to assist in the preparation of a Parliamentary bill to provide for the general valuation of Ireland. This Act was passed in 1826, and he was appointed Commissioner of Valuation in 1827, but did not start work until 1830 when the new 6″ maps, became available from the Ordnance Survey and which he was required to use as provided for by statute.

He served as Commissioner until 1868, when he was succeeded by Sir John Ball Greene CB, who took charge of the ongoing revisions of the valuation on an annual basis. Griffith also served as Chairman of the Board of Works. He conducted two major valuation surveys. First was the townland valuation, which was completed in the 1840s and which took the townland as the geographical unit of valuation. The second and more extensive, was the tenement survey which valued individual property separately for the first time and which also valued all buildings in the townland for the first time, whereas, previously only the larger houses, principally those of the gentry had been valued in the first valuation. The tenement valuations of County Dublin were the first to be published on 5 May 1853 and the last were the valuations of County Armagh on 1 June 1865.

The valuation is a vital document in genealogical research, since in the absence of census records in Ireland before 1901 the valuation records in many ways can act as a substitute. It is helpful in this to know the precise dates when the individual county components of the survey were completed, as follows:

CountyDate of completion of survey
Carlow28 June 1853
Cork County of the City9 July 1853
Cork County20 July 1853
Dublin County9 July 1853
Kerry19 July 1853
Kilkenny County8 July 1853
Kilkenny County of the City8 July 1853
Limerick County29 June 1853
Limerick County of the City29 June 1853
Queen’s County28 June 1853
Tipperary29 June 1853
Waterford County5 July 1853
Waterford County of the City5 July 1853
Dublin County of the City31 Oct 1854
Kildare18 July 1854
Wexford7 July 1854
Wicklow4 July 1854
King’s County2 July 1855
Longford6 July 1855
Louth5 July 1855
Drogheda County of the Town6 July 1855
Meath10 July 1855
Westmeath5 July 1855
Clare3 July 1856
Galway County of the Town14 July 1856
Cavan25 June 1857
Galway County29 June 1857
Leitrim6 July 1857
Mayo13 July 1857
Donegal6 July 1858
Roscommon1 July 1858
Sligo7 July 1858
Londonderry County and City16 July 1859
Tyrone13 July 1860
Monaghan1 July 1861
Antrim10 July 1862
Carrickfergus County of the Town10 July 1862
Fermanagh4 July 1864
Down12 July 1864
Armagh1 June 1865
This page was added on 09/11/2014.

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